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How to Be the Best Maid of Honor

Updated on August 15, 2012

My best friend, Danielle, asked me to be her Maid of Honor. It's a huge honor and since her wedding is two years away, I have lots of time to prep for and fill my role, helping make Danielle's wedding day perfect. I want to do the best job possible. Are you also going to be a Maid of Honor and want to know exactly what the role involves and how you can be the best Maid of Honor (MOH)? Then keep reading!

I've been a MOH once before five years ago for my cousin's wedding but I was a long distance MOH, living in Washington, DC while the bride lived in New York City. And we only had three months to plan the wedding. The distance, short time, and the fact that I was extremely busy at work really didn't work well for my role as a MOH. I had to delegate much of my duties to my mom and was only able to come to one dress fitting - for my cousin to try on her wedding dress and for me to try on my own MOH dress. I wasn't there for the little moments and that was the worst part for me about being a long distance MOH. Thankfully though I found the time to organize a really fun bachelorette party. This time around though, I want to be the best MOH.

The aim of this article is to act as a guide to any Maid of Honor and go down in history as the best MOH ever.

Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor?

There are lots of different terms associated with wedding planning. For instance, you may come across the term Matron of Honor and be confused as to what a Matron of Honor is versus a Maid of Honor.

Well, a Maid of Honor is the head bridesmaid, who is unmarried. If the head bridesmaid is married, then her title is Matron of Honor. Simple as that.

As the maid of honor, it's your job to plan the bachelorette party with the bridesmaids.
As the maid of honor, it's your job to plan the bachelorette party with the bridesmaids. | Source

Maid of Honor Responsibilities Before the Wedding

As a Maid of Honor, your requirement, at the minimum is to buy your dress, attend the wedding, and be a witness to signing of the marriage certificate. However, you've been asked to do something that is a huge honor so you probably want to do more than just the minimum and are willing to help with all the wedding fracas. Below are a list of things that you can help the bride with before the big day so that she'll think you're the best MOH ever. I plan on talking to my best friend about all of these and asking her what exactly she'd like my help with.

Of course the list below isn't one-size-fits all but depends on how much others like the groom, bridesmaids, and family members are willing to pitch in.

  • Help the bride scouting the perfect venue for the big day.
  • Help the bride with her to-do list.
  • Help in choosing the wedding dress, bridesmaids' dresses, invitations, flowers, centerpieces, etc.
  • Assist with dress functions such as making sure everyone goes to dress fittings, everything runs smoothly, and that the dresses are delivered on time and as expected.
  • Help plan the honeymoon.
  • Help with the seating chart.
  • Go to catering and cake tastings and help make final decisions about the food.
  • Help the bride with the gift registry.
  • Consult with the bridesmaids about their bridal shower and bachelorette party budgets and host those two events.
  • Keep a list of all gifts that were received.
  • Go to the rehearsal dinner.

As the maid of honor, it's your job to hold the bride's bouquet while the couple exchanges vows
As the maid of honor, it's your job to hold the bride's bouquet while the couple exchanges vows | Source

Should the Maid of Honor Dress be Different from Bridesmaid Dresses?

A maid of honor's dress can be different from the bridesmaids' dresses, complementing them. Ultimately though, the Maid of Honor needs to wear whatever the bride asks her to wear.

Duties as Maid of Honor on the Wedding Day

Once you've made it through the planning stage of the wedding day, finally comes the big day when everything is executed. It doesn't just involve putting on a big smile. Below is a list of things you should do as a Maid of Honor on the day of the wedding. I plan on printing out this list and checking it off one by one.

  • Cheer up the bride if she's experiencing any wedding day jitters.
  • Help the bride get dressed, and make sure her hair make-up, and jewelry are perfect. The dress can pose some maneuverability issues so it's your job to make sure it's a non-issue by lifting, fluffing, etc. all throughout the ceremony... and don't forget to touch up her make-up!
  • Safe-keep the groom's ring until the bride and groom are about to exchange vows.
  • Hold the bride's bouquet during the wedding ceremony.
  • Be the legal witness when the marriage license is being signed.
  • Greet guests as they enter reception.
  • Toast the bride and groom and have a toast prepared ahead of time.

Maid of Honor Expenses

Approximate Costs
$100 - $300
$50 - $200
$20 - $100
Hair, make-up and nails
$100 - $200
Bridal shower gift
$50 - $100
Host bridal shower (venue, food and decorations)
$100 - $300
Bachelorette party gift
$50 - $100
Host bachelorette party (venue, transportation, food, and accessories) or getaway trip expenses)
$200 - $1000
Wedding gift
$100 - $300
Varies greatly depending on location

Maid of Honor Budget

The honor of standing beside the bride on her big day is pricey. According to the Wedding Channel, on average, bridesmaids spend $1,695 to cover the costs of the special role.

So what are the expenses that you should budget for?

  • Dress (including hemming and tailoring), shoes, and accessories.
  • Hair, make-up and manicure/pedicure.
  • Hosting of bridal shower and bachelorette party.
  • Transportation to bridal shower, bachelorette party location, wedding venue and possibly a limo.
  • Gifts (bridal shower, bachelorette party and wedding).


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    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks, Alisha! I also had no idea about all the responsibilities of being a MOH and I read so many online articles about it, which inspired me to write this hub, which hopefully sums it all up nicely for anyone's who also has no clue.

    • alisharenee profile image

      alisharenee 4 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      Great information for any MOH to have! When I was first asked to be a MOH in my best friend's wedding I had no idea what my responsibilities were, but this article really sums it all up!

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Fantastic tips for being a great maid of honor! This hub will come in so handy for those ladies accepting this important role. I was recently in a friend's wedding and I have to say that expense chart is right on the money. Great hub - voted up and useful!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Wow. Had no idea it cost that much to be a maid of honor these days. Luckily I haven't done this in a while. Interesting hub!